The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) is to investigate Associated Newspapers’ London Lite and thelondonpaper, owned by News International, following claims from both sides that distributors are dumping bundles of the freesheets.
The ABC has the power to revoke their circulations licences, which would have serious implications for advertising revenue on both titles.
The ABC says: “Although to date no complaint has been received, due to the implications that these allegations may have on the certified distribution figures for the London free newspapers, ABC has taken the decision to investigate and review the circumstances surrounding these incidents.”
The investigation comes amid an increasingly fractious row between the two freesheets. Both publishers have recently taken out adverts in the trade press attacking the other title.